You may encounter MKV files when you download any video from the web or get any video from a person. These files especially appear when you download HD videos. It is not a popular video format like AVI or MP4. This one is often a puzzle where you have to find a process to play it. Let’s dive into this article to learn about mkv files like what is an mkv file, how to open it and so on.
What is an MKV File?
Mkv file is actually a multimedia container format instead of an audio or video compression format. With the help of this MKV container, it is possible to incorporate audio, video, and subtitles into a single file despite different encoding types being used by those elements. For instance, you can have a .mkv file which has H.264 video and MP3 or AAC for audio.
The primary purpose of the design of MKV container files was to make them future-proof. It means that these files will never be outdated. Many key features are included by the developers to make these things happen, like:
- Fast seeking
- Chapter, menu, and metadata support
- Different chosen audio and video streams
- Online streaming compatibility
- Subtitle (hard-coded and soft-coded) support
- Error recovery allows for the playback of corrupted files.
It is compatible with any audio and video format. Therefore, the format becomes simple to use & highly adaptive.
These files are called Matroska Video files, originating in Russia in 2002. Lasse Kärkkäinen is its main developer who worked with Steve Lhomme ( Matroska’s founder) and a team of programmers for making the comprehensive multimedia container file format. The naming was done from the Russian word for Nesting Dolls, matryoshka.
Developers created the Matroska project, an open standards project. It indicates that this one is open source and free for everyone willing to use it personally. This company has several resources on their website, such as a list of playback options. The more time passed, the format got improved. Later in 2010, it became the basis for the WebM multimedia format.
How Can You Play MKV Files?
These files are not industry standard. Therefore, all media players do not support it though support has grown rapidly. There are several choices to play MKV files, which are as follows.
Use VLC Media Player:
The preferable option, in this case, is using a VLC media player. You will like to use this mostly as it does not need you to install anything else, and it also comes with built-in support. Following the proper method, you can download & install the program easily. You need to start the process by visiting the official download page at videolan.org. Ensure that you are not going anywhere else, as many crapware vendors contain fake VLC download sites.
- You need to run the file you downloaded for installing VLC. The whole process of installation needs up to two or three minutes.
- Once you complete the installation, you can see any mkv file. Although VLC associates itself with all supported video & audio formats during the installation, it doesn’t register as a preloaded application for the file types.
- If you want to watch an MKV file with this media player, you should first tap on the MKV file. Then, direct this to “Open With” and select “VLC Media Player.”
- If you are willing to make VLC the default player for mkv files, tap on an mkv file, direct to “Open With,” and tap on “Choose Another App.”
- You must choose “VLC media player” in the app selection window. Then, turn on the “Always use this app to open .mkv files” option, and hit “OK.”
- Your task is to double-click an MKV file so that you can open this in VLC.
- If you can not use the VLC player properly or it doesn’t suit you, use some suggestions from the Matroska website for Windows with built-in support.
Use your mobile devices:
While on the move, you can get a chance to enjoy MKV videos & audio. When you are on the iOS platform, you can see the videos directly from the iPhone, iPad and iPod via the native PlayerXtreme Media Player. If you are an Android user, you should download and install the VLC’s mobile version or the Simple MP4 Video Player. Normal MP4 Player comes with a reader for other video formats.
Download codecs for compatibility:
The media player can’t succeed at opening video files with an MKV extension. The reason is that it does not have the essential codecs to decide the file type. You should know that it is a viable option. So codecs let your media player decompress as well as play the MKV files.
You can turn the media player into an MKV file player, but remember that it can harm the PC. Ensure that you download codecs or other necessary software from the recommended sites. There are a few sites which hide crapware in famous software.
If you don’t know where to begin, navigate to Niite. It can offer free downloads devoid of any bloatware. When you go to Niite, you need to find a codec pack named Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP). It can provide several codecs supporting many file formats.
If you are on the Niite landing page, your job is to choose the CCCP option. After that, tap on the “Get Your Niite” option. Then, the file starts downloading. As soon as it ends, you need to run this to install the codecs. You can select other apps from the site and install these, also. If you effect the changes, you should restart the PC. However, mkv files should mostly begin playing promptly.
Converting to supported formats:
Sometimes, your MKV file reader does not detect mkv files despite downloading and installing the appropriate codecs. You can encounter an issue in your device that can lack the requisite resources to render MKV file formats. It is possible to convert MKV files to a format which hardware & software supports to solve the issue.
You can use a free video file converter to convert MKV files to other formats friendly to your device. It is possible to use the online version of some converters to save space on the device. However, ensure that it is not your first choice because video files are quite big. These take a lot of time to upload, convert and download the converted file.
You can use offline video converters when your device comes with ample storage space. But if there is no ample storage, it is possible to use external storage media, like thumb drives or external hard drives. Offline converters are cost-effective and fast enough because there is nothing to worry about bandwidth costs.
Edit MKV files:
You can edit these files like other file types to apply changes you are willing to achieve. It is possible to include chapters & subtitles as well as delete them. Besides, you are capable of changing the video’s start & end points by trimming off unnecessary parts.
When you find a good video editor, your task is to start with the free versions first. There is nothing to pay for software if the free counterpart is capable of accomplishing as much. If you are willing, try MKVToolNix, a free program used for Windows, Mac & Linux. In most cases, free video editors suffer from major limitations. So you are unable to enjoy all the features.
How To Convert MKV Files?
Sometimes, any method you apply does not work. If so, try to convert the .mkv file to formats like MP4, AVI, etc. After that, play them on the preferable app.
1) Freemake Video Converter:
If you are a PC user, you may use Freemake Video Converter. This tool comes with a simple user interface. There are also many formats for output options.
It is the procedure following which you can convert MKV to MP4 or AVI with Freemake Video Converter:
- Your first job is downloading and installing this tool in your system.
- After that, you need to hit the +video button. Now, you should add this MKV file. It is also possible to drag and drop the file.
- If necessary, edit the video.
- The software comes with a default editor to cut, rotate, or join videos.
- You can choose the output format, likely AVI or MP4.
- While it is possible to choose from a ready preset, you can also custom-create one.
- Tap on convert so that you can transform the MKV file into the selected mkv file format.
- You can get a converted file in minutes and see it offline or upload it.
Do you want to know how to open these files on Mac? If you are a Mac user, you can use Handbrake. Compared to the previous one, this one is a little complicated. However, it is not so hard to use.
Converting MKV file to MP4 or AVI is possible with Handbrake in the following way:
- Your first task is to download Handbrake and install it on Mac.
- Then, you should launch this.
- After that, you must navigate to the Open Source button to add files or drag and drop the .mkv file.
- You need to choose the output format, especially MP4, and a ready preset if you need this.
- After that, your task is to head towards the Audio and Subtitles tabs so that you can choose the tracks to keep for future files.
- It is possible to customize Codec, Framerate, bitrate, etc.
- You should tap on Start to run the process of conversion.
- After that, you will receive the converted MKV file.
Follow these steps to Convert MKV to MP4:
- You need to open its website first and Signup.
- Then, head toward Convert.
- Choose MKV in the first box, and in the other box, you should choose MP4. Using this is possible to convert MP4 to MKV.
- After that, head toward the Select File option. Now, choose the file that you are willing to convert.
- It is possible to customize the Options.
- Tap on Start Conversion.
- Finally, your file is ready for downloading.
4) Wondershare Uniconverter:
All Media Player fans have to convert the MKV file to a format which allows to open & play this because Media Player doesn’t support MKV format. With the help of this tool, you can convert MKV File To Media Player Supported format for both Windows and Mac.
- First, you have to launch the mkv file converter.
- Then, hit the Add File icon on the toolbar.
- After that, you should navigate to the folder with your MKV file.
- Tap on Open to import the file. Otherwise, you can drag and drop the file.
- Now, head toward the Output Format option.
- Once you see the dropdown menu, choose a format that Media Player supports, such as WMV.
- Hit the Start All button to begin the conversion.
- You can receive that file in the format you have chosen. Open this thereafter in the Media Player.
It is possible to use the free trial version. However, it is not so helpful. If you want, purchase its Annual Plan for one year, one PC at $29.95. Otherwise, choose its Perpetual Plan, one PC for a lifetime. You can purchase this at $45.96. If you want a business plan, buy it at $161.91 for 2 Pcs. Remember that the cost can vary if you want more than two PCs.
A few files use the same file extension though the formats are not related. They appear to be for similar-looking suffixes. For instance, files which are available in the MKA format are Matroska-related audio, without video. You can use Matroska 3D video files (MK3D) for stereoscopic video.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you extract subtitles from MKV?
Downloading the MKVExtracGUI-2 special MKV subtitle extractor tool can extract subtitles from an MKV file. With the help of the tool, you can import an MKV file. After that, you have to choose the subtitles to extract. The program can extract the files in ASS or SRT format on the PC.
How do you burn MKV files to DVD?
Your first task is to convert the file to a supported file format with the help of Freemake Video Converter or any other program. As soon as the conversion is complete, you need to burn that new file to a DVD. You may use BurnAware Free and WinX DVD Author in this case.
Is MKV a better format than MP4?
We know mkv for converting DVDs and Blu-Ray discs to video files. Most people prefer to use MP4 to play videos on a browser. Besides, this one has less file overhead. Each one is better for some uses, whereas not so good for others.